The experiences of parents in an early-intervention program for young people with borderline personality disorder features

Chloe Bosworth, Clare Watsford, Annaleise Naylor, Dean Buckmaster, Debra Rickwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Previous research demonstrates that parents' communication skills may contribute to the development and maintenance of their young person's borderline personality disorder (BPD). Carers of people with BPD also experience their own psychosocial stressors and feel unsupported. Consequently, Dialectical Behavior Therapy for adolescents (DBT-A) invites parents to partake in group therapy alongside their young person. Despite this involvement, little research exists examining parents' perspective of engaging in a DBT-A program, and specifically whether they experience their own benefits and changes from being part of the program. To examine this, the current study interviews 34 parents who engaged in an early intervention DBT-A program. Thematic analysis resulted in seven key themes and 16 subthemes beginning with parents' expectations of the program, followed by the key elements of the program that facilitated change, and the actual changes and benefits attributed to these elements. Overall, parents were surprised by their own gains from the program, and how the skills they learned facilitated personal development that improved family communication and functioning with their young person and more broadly. This study addresses the gap in understanding the parent perspective with clinical implications for the benefits of involving parents in therapy more generally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1524-1541
Number of pages18
JournalFamily Process
Volume62
Issue number4
Early online date21 Aug 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

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